For a creative region: a unique network of chateaux providing corporate patronage for local artists from Aquitaine

1 Château pour 1 Artiste (one chateau for one artist) is an innovative programme of arts patronage, unique in Aquitaine, showcasing professional artists from Aquitaine alongside the region’s wine heritage. The programme is an original and creative tourist initiative to develop a new, more responsible and creative approach to promoting this region.

Action for global, economic, social and cultural responsibility in Aquitaine, 1 Château pour 1 Artiste promotes the strategic alliance between art and wine. Corporate patronage is the keystone to the operation, bringing the artist and the chateau into a professional relationship. The key to the project is to initiate the chateaux and the artists into a truly professional partnership.

Action to promote and distribute the work of artists in our region: as Aquitaine’s creative talent can sometimes experience a shortage of resources or distribution outlets, 1 Château pour 1 Artiste offers them the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work in a participating chateau.

By being a patron in this project, the chateau confirms its role as a major player in a creative region. By supporting a local artist, it is expanding its range of activities, enhancing its image and opening its doors to new visitors. The chateaux have made a commitment to a responsible action that will make a difference in developing creativity, heritage and in broader terms, the region as well.

Action to promote our heritage and our region, the artists and the chateaux that have committed to the scheme have created a new type of cultural wine tourism, somewhat different from what is usually on offer, as they are showing off our more intangible heritage – the region’s artistic creations and wine expertise – as well as our material assets – the chateaux, the architecture and the landscapes – making them more accessible and promoting what we have to offer.

The project reflects the diversity of the area it covers: diversity in the artists chosen by the chateaux, whose works are now accessible to a much wider public; diversity in our wine-growing heritage (architecture, landscapes, wines …). Entry to the exhibitions in the chateaux is free, at the opening times given for the different locations. The chateaux and the artists are contributing to the sustainable development of the area by helping to attract more visitors. This creative tourism package, which combines artistic creation and personal development, offers the visiting public a very different experience.

The origins of this experimental project can be found in research carried out by the Arts, Culture and Management in Europe Chair (ACME) at BEM-Bordeaux Management School, into notions of cultural patronage, the creative region, creative tourism, creative industry, and a strategic alliance between art and wine. The 1 Château pour 1 Artiste concept was born during a training course for visual artists in Aquitaine. Called « Promoting your artistic project », it was devised and implemented in autumn 2009 by these same researchers at BEM and funded by the Fonds d’Innovation pour la Formation Professionnelle (FIFOP) of the Aquitaine Regional Council. In 2010, the project really came to fruition with the creation of the 1 Château pour 1 Artiste endowment fund, which has developed the event over the last three years in close collaboration with the Art&Com Association, responsible for putting on the events, and in partnership with the ACME chair at BEM.